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Word Count: 842
OR EGO OX DUNG IN THE DESERT In his article Eating Christmas in the Kalahari 1969 Richard Borshay Lee tells of his three years spent living with the Kung San Bushmen of some of their customs of how they celebrated Christmas and of how they dealt with gifts or rather his gift to them in particular Lee explains that the local people thought him a miser because he maintained a two-month inventory of canned goods p 111 which was in direct contrast to the Bushmen who rarely had a days supply of food on handp 111 and it appeared he was determined to correct this view Lee writes that it is the Tswana-Herero custom of slaughtering an ox for his Bushmen neighbours as an annual goodwill gesture p 111 at Christmas By purchasing the Christmas ox for the Bushmens annual feast himself Lee hoped that it would be seen as a generous parting gesture a thank you for their cooperation - as in Western culture - and perhaps also the catalyst for dispelling their view of him as a miser Lee appears to want the reader to believe that he was confused about his failure to gain the expected appreciation from the Bushmen for his generosity but was instead ridiculed for his choice of ox with sarcastic descriptions such as scrawny p 112 old wreckp 111 sack of guts and bonesp 111 oldp 111 thinp 111 and sickp 113 Lee further leads us to believe that his confusion became more profound on Christmas Day when the ox was slaughtered and was found to have a thick layer of fat covering the meat Although Lee indicates that he felt vindicated in his choice of ox the derision and sarcasm continued throughout the slaughtering process Lee writes that he later sought clarification and explanation from several of the local people and was eventually told that the Bushmens sarcasm or obligatory
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